Prospective Students

START EARLY

International students helping each other succeed

As international students, we understand the confusion and dilemma often harbored amongst prospective students when working on U.S. applications. This is why we created F-1 Careers, a platform where prospective students can familiarize themselves with the application process, get guidance from current international students who were once in similar positions, and get easy access to relevant resources essential for landing your DREAM COLLEGE. 

THE COLLEGE APPLICATION ROAD MAP

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START 

COLLEGE RESEARCH

F-1 Careers College Search
  1. Research your desired programs extensively
  2. Gather your ALL relevant materials, e.g. transcripts, awards, and recognitions, thesis, projects e.t.c.
  3. Plan and prepare to take required standardized tests e.g. ACT, SAT, TOEFL, GRE, GMAT, MCAT
  4. Outline your story/narrative: background and motivations for pursuing the desired program.
  5. Review your extracurricular activities and fill in the gaps
  6. Draft your statement of purpose. Reach out to friends, F-1 Careers mentors, and other trusted sources for review.
  7. APPLY APPLY APPLY!
 
 

Here's a recent To-Do List for International Applicants, prepared by U.S. News:

Get Your Documents in Order.

  • Transcripts (school reports): might need to translate all documents to English

  • Letters of recommendation (at least two from your teachers and one from your counselor/Principal)

  • Score reports for any required standardized tests like the ACT, SAT, and English language proficiency tests like the TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo

  • Financial Documents: Bank statements, etc

  • Passport: Often required early in the process for test registration

SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS

Checklist

STANDARDIZED TESTS

COLLEGE APPLICATIONS
MS/MBA/PH.D APPLICATIONS
MEDICAL/LAW SCHOOL APPLICATIONS

Note: Most U.S. colleges and universities have waived the standardized test requirements. Visit the admissions website of each school you intend to apply to in order to learn more.
Learn more about each standardized test.

  • Your opportunity to tell your story

  • Show colleges how your progression in school or life experiences has prepared you to embark on a U.S. international education.

  • Address the specific questions/prompts if given one. Admission committees are assessing your ability to communicate

  • Avoid simply reciting your resume or activities list
    Use the "SHOW DON'T TELL" approach to shape your narrative.

  • Prepare multiple drafts and have trusted reviewers give you critical but constructive feedback

PERSONAL STATEMENTS

Examples of well-written personal statements by international students

EXTRA-CURRICULARS

Examples of the Common App activities list descriptions

Strengthen and Document Extracurricular Activities.

  • Part-time work/internships

  • Volunteering/Acts of service

  • Sports and competitions

  • Other interests like music, art, writing, poetry, etc

  • Science projects

  • Tutoring/Mentoring

ASK FOR REFERENCES

You will need at least two recommendation letters from your teachers and one from your Counselor/Principal/Head Teacher)

 
 
 
 
 

Figure Out College Counseling Resources Available at Your School or Country.

  • U.S. Embassy

  • Education USA

  • KenSAP

  • TanSAO

  • ZanSAP

  • Bridge to Rwanda

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

THE COLLEGE APPLICATION

After going through the steps above and gathering all documents, you're ready to apply!
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TWO APPLICATION CYCLES

  • Identify all TARGET (plan A) and SAFETY (plan B) schools with help from your counselor.

  • Visit each college's website for instructions on how to apply.

  • Familiarize yourself with the Common App (used by most colleges) or other platforms like Coalition and Universal App used by certain schools.

  • Universities like MIT and the U.C. schools (U.C. Berkeley, U.C.LA, U.C. Davis) have their own application portals.

THE EARLY APPLICATION CYCLE

Results: December 15th - 31st

Early Admissions Cycle

Begins: August 01st

Deadline: November 01st

THE REGULAR APPLICATION CYCLE

Results: Mid March - April

Regular Admission Cycle

Begins: July/August 01st

Deadline: December 31st